Turkey: 48 suspects with FETO links arrested

Arrest warrants issued for many others as part of investigations against terror group

Anadolu Agency Staff   | 15.01.2021
Turkey: 48 suspects with FETO links arrested


At least 48 people with suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) have been arrested Friday, while warrants have been issued for many others across Turkey, according to security sources.

Coastguard teams in the Marmaris district of the southwestern Mugla province launched an operation to nab a group of FETO suspects after they learned the suspects were trying to escape to Greece, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The teams detained 13 suspects, including dismissed soldiers, police officers, midwifes, and teachers, for whom judicial procedures are also ongoing, the source added.

In the Turkish capital Ankara, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for nine suspects over the alleged leaking of the 2005 exam question papers of police department to the FETO-linked candidates.

Seven of the suspects, including five dismissed, are police officers and the two are teachers, according to a security source.

In the northwestern Balikesir province, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 19 suspects as part of an investigation into the terror group’s covert operations within the military, said a source on condition of anonymity.

The suspects, including 10 on-duty and nine dismissed soldiers, are accused of regularly communicating with the FETO members via pay phone.

Police teams launched an operation to nab the suspects in Balikesir, which spread to nine other provinces across the country, and arrested 13 of the wanted suspects.

In another operation launched in Istanbul and expanded to seven other provinces, security forces are searching for 37 suspects, who are accused of using the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock.

Twenty of the suspects, including a dismissed police officer, teacher, doctor, tax inspector, and customs officer, have been arrested, while many organizational documents have been seized in the operation.

Eleven of the suspects are learned to be abroad. The operation is ongoing to nab the remaining six fugitives.

Separately, two fugitive FETO suspects were held in the Black Sea province of Karabuk over their membership to the terror group, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Gendarmerie units nabbed the suspects, identified by the initials and age; Y.A., 41, and A.D., 40, in Karabuk’s center and Safranbolu district.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara, Ahmet Ozler in Karabuk contributed to this story

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